Post Study Work Visa UK for Indian Students: Graduate Route

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Students are mostly looking for job opportunities in the same country they are pursuing their academic programs. One of the top study destinations for international students in UK as it is one of the three most sought-after countries for international education.

The country offers international exposure to students, making them eligible for jobs all over the globe. If you are looking to settle in the UK after your academic program and work here, you need to apply for a UK work permit or a post-study work visa UK.

The Graduate Immigration Route was launched by the UK government for international students on July 1, 2021. The application for a Graduate visa includes an application fee and healthcare surcharge for each year you spend in the United Kingdom.

In this article, we will look at the post-study work visa in the UK, the new graduate route, and go through further information on its eligibility and entry requirements.

post study work visa uk

Post Study Work Visa UK: The New ‘Graduate’ Route

The Post Study Work Visa UK (PSWV) is a temporary visa that acts as a golden opportunity for international students to study, work and live by taking up a job in their area of interest after completing their graduation. Post Study Work Visa UK Route is open to all international students, including Indian students who have immigration status in the United Kingdom. This new route is eligible for all individuals who are enrolled at an institution that is approved by the United Kingdom Higher Education Provider.

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Post Study Work Visa UK for Indian Students: Graduate Route
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The PSW Visa is issued after document confirmation to ensure that the country retains the brightest students from all over the globe and help them make a growing career in the country as well as open opportunities for future breakthroughs in technology, science, research, and other similar work.

The Graduate Route is for international graduates who have received their degree from a recognised UK University to stay in the country and look for work for at least a duration 2 years after their graduation. The PhD students will get a period of 3 years. The route is beneficial for all international students, especially those from India who chose their degree courses on the basis of the prospects of job opportunities and work experience.

Students need not have a job offer in hand to apply for the post-study work visa or the graduate visa. There is also no minimum salary cap that allows them to build their careers by working flexibly in the UK.

Post Study Work Visa UK: Entry Date Guidelines

You can still apply for the graduate route if, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you have been studying online in your home country in any of the UK-enrolled universities. UK Government had released certain Covid 19 visa concessions, which are as follows:

  • If you have started your course in 2020 or 2021 via online or distance learning mode and have not entered the UK previously for the course, you can apply for the post-study work visa if you are able to qualify for a successful student visa application and reach the UK before the visa ends.
  • If you have started a course of 12 months in 2021 and have existing permission as a student to study the course in the country and have travelled to the UK during that specified period of permission, you can make an application for the post-study work visa as long as they stay in the UK before their date of permission ends.
  • If you have started a course of 12 months or less than that in Autumn 2021 or in Spring 2022 through a distance learning mode, you are required to enter the UK by June 30, 2022, to complete the remainder of your academic study as a student visa holder.
  • Students who are sponsored for a course that lasts longer than 12 months should not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate Visa Route because of the distance learning they took in either UK or overseas.

Post Study Work Visa UK: Eligibility

Earlier, candidates who completed their bachelor’s or master’s degree were allowed to stay in the UK for a maximum duration of 4 months, during which they could search for a job. After the implementation of the new graduate route visa rules, the Government of the UK is allowing international students to stay in the UK for a maximum of 2 years. This is done as the UK government and administration are looking for a skilled workforce that can contribute to the growth of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related fields in the country.

Any international student having a Tier 4 visa and who is enrolled in a higher level educational programme approved by the government and has started their session in September 2020 is eligible for staying back for a duration of 2 years followed by their graduation with the Post Study Work Visa UK.

For a Tier 2 visa, international students are required to find a job with a minimum salary of approximately £20,800 ( about 21 lakhs INR).

The eligibility of a student depends on the following factors:

  • The Course Provider, i.e., the college or the university where the course was completed
  • The type, of course, they are studying
  • For how long do the individual study in the UK

Post Study Work Visa US: Basic Requirements

In order to apply for a post-study work visa in the UK, there are certain prerequisites that need to be fulfilled; these criteria are as follows:

  • You must hold a degree from a recognised university or institution of higher education, be it an undergraduate, diploma, graduate, postgraduate, or doctoral degree.
  • You must look for new opportunities related to your job and employment for the duration of 12 months after completing your degree.
  • You must not need any monetary aid and should be financially independent.
  • The visa application must be submitted within 12 months of completing the academic program.
  • For candidates who have not completed their degree in the English language are required to take IELTS Examination and score within 6.5 IELTS band score in all 4 parts of the examination.
  • You need to have a source of funding, as mentioned by the United Kingdom government.

You can apply for the Graduate Visa if:

  • You are currently in the United Kingdom.
  • Currently having a Student visa or a General Tier 4 student visa
  • You have studied a bachelor’s, master’s, or any other eligible course for a minimum time period with your student visa.
  • Your university or your college has proof of you completing the course.

Do’s & Don’t with a Graduate Visa

With a Graduate Visa, you can:

  • Look for work
  • Be self-employed
  • Do voluntary work
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK

The things you cannot do are:

  • Apply for state pension or other public benefits such as public funds
  • Work as a professional sportsperson

The graduate visa is not extendable, i.e., the students will not be eligible to apply for the route more than once in their lifetime.

Post Study Work Visa UK – Interview Questions

After submitting the online application form along with the relevant documents, UK visa applicants must pay the visa application fee to book an interview with the US Embassy or Consulate. The Visa Interview is the final stage of the post-study work visa process. The officer examines the applicant and confirms their details and documents. Some of the most frequently asked questions in the US Post Study Work Visa are as follows:

  • What is your reason for staying in the UK?
  • What is the duration of your stay?
  • How will you manage your expenses in the UK?
  • Where will you be staying in the UK?

Also Read: UK Visa Photo Requirements 

Types of Post-Study Work Visa UK

There are different types of post-study work visa options available, which are:

Tier 2 (General) visa

This is the most common visa for international students so that they can stay in the UK after their degree. This visa is issued to fill the shortage of labour in the UK Labour Market. To sponsor this work visa, the applicant must earn a minimum of £30,000 per year, and the employer must be a licensed tier 2 sponsor.

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

The visa allows the PhD students who have completed their studies to further stay in the UK for 12 months. At this time, the graduates can look for new jobs, gain practical or work experience, or set up their own businesses as an entrepreneur.

Tier 5 Temporary Worker

Government Authorised Exchange visa – This visa route allows international students to stay in the UK for training, internship, work experience, or research after their studies. The duration of the visa is 12 to 24 months.

Start-up visa (replaces the formal Tier 1, Graduate Entrepreneur visa)

This is an optional visa route for international graduates who want to develop their entrepreneurial or innovative skills by setting up a viable, innovative, and scalable business in the United Kingdom.

post study work visa uk


Under the graduate route of post-study work visa UK, the applicants can take up extra study, but they are not allowed to study with a student sponsor, and they can not study at a State school. If your course has been longer than a duration of 1 year, and you have been studying remotely for any time between January 24, 2020, and September 27, 2021, due to the pandemic, you are still eligible to apply for the work visa. You need to return to the UK before the student visa expires.

In addition to the basic eligibility, you also need to complete security and criminality checks, identify checks, as well as pay an application fee along with an Immigration Health Surcharge payment. Students who are starting with their courses in Autumn 2021 or in early 2022 need to be in the UK by April 6, 2022, on a student visa.

If you are looking to pursue studies in the UK, LeapScholar can help you provide career advice, identify the best universities for your course and can guide you through the process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can one do after their post-study work visa in the UK ends?

The post-study work visa in the UK allows graduates to stay in the country for up to 2 years after the completion of their academic studies. The students are allowed to do any work except the area they studied during this duration. Before the PSW Visa ends or expires, the individuals who want to stay further in the UK are required to apply for a general work visa (Tier 2 visa) or a skilled worker visa by applying for skilled work. However, to get a general work visa, the individual should be receiving a minimum of £30,000 per year.

2. When can I submit my Post-Study Work visa UK application?

You can apply for a post-study work visa UK after your university or college has informed the Home Office of your final academic result. Generally, the bachelor’s degree result will be available around August, and the master’s degree result will be available around November or December.

You should make the application for a UK visa while you are still holding a valid Student (or Tier 4) visa, after which the UK Council makes a decision on the issuing of the visa.

3. How can I apply for a graduate route visa?

You can apply for the post-study work visa UK via the UK government website. As a part of the application, you need to follow the given steps:

a. Scan your biometric residence permit, BRP through the application of UK Immigration: ID Check.
b. Students can contact their university in case of any difficulty with the application process.
c. Students will also need to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that they used for their most recent study application.
d. When you are ready to apply, you need to pay the application fee and immigration health surcharge.
e. The application fee for the visa is £700, while the immigration health surcharge fee is £624 per year of granted leave.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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